Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

There Are So Few People on the Stem Cell Donor Register. -I Want to Get More on It; HONOUR FOR DEVOTED DAD WHO RAISED PS20K FOR CHARITY

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

There Are So Few People on the Stem Cell Donor Register. -I Want to Get More on It; HONOUR FOR DEVOTED DAD WHO RAISED PS20K FOR CHARITY

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON Reporter lisa.hutchinson@reachplc.com @lisachron

DOTING dad Stephen Armstrong knows all too well what it's like to be waiting for a transplant donor.

His son Jacob was diagnosed at two years old with a rare blood disorder and Stephen called on the public to donate stem cells to find him a match.

He then set out to raise as much money as he could for the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan in a bid to save lives.

And now, after raising over PS20,000, his efforts have been recognised by the charity as they honour him at an awards ceremony held at the Tower of London in November.

Stephen, 33, of Wallsend, North Tyneside, has been shortlisted for the Individual Fundraiser of the Year Award at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards 2019.

The prestigious awards are in their seventh year and recognise the outstanding achievements of volunteers, fundraisers and campaigners who help the pioneering charity save lives.

Jacob in hospital Stephen's nomination is in recognition of his incredible fundraising efforts, leading a group of 19 friends and family in a series of physical challenges, all while his son was undergoing treatment.

After Jacob was diagnosed in 2017, Stephen set out to find a matching stem cell donor, as well as raise awareness of the need for more people on the register.

From here 'Jacob's Journey' was born, and through a series of challenges including the Great North Run, the Great North Bike Ride and climbing Ben Nevis, Stephen has helped raise over PS20,000 for the charity.

Jacob, who turns four in November, and his family, have been told he does not need a transplant, but Stephen wants to continue raising awareness for others who aren't so lucky.

"When Jacob was diagnosed, we were stunned by how few people were on the stem cell donor register. I couldn't believe how a stranger in the street could potentially save our little boy's life," said Stephen, an assistant manager for Dixons Carphone.

"Anthony Nolan helped us massively while Jacob was ill and provided a great support network. …

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